NZ PAYS TRIBUTE TO FALLEN SOLDIERS
The New Zealand High Commission Office in Honiara, Solomon Islands held a brief war memorial ceremony at Gifu Ridge, Hill 27, near the Barana Nature Park today.
This is ahead of the unveiling of the Pacific War Memorial in Pukeahu, Wellington, New Zealand tomorrow.
The brief ceremony led by the New Zealand High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Georgina Roberts was held to pay respect to fallen Pacific Soldiers during the Second World War.
“Given the Solomon Islands experience during the second world war, we wanted to gather together to acknowledge the Solomon Islands’ association with War.
Firstly, this is a sight of significance; that has seen the tragedy, not only during the second world war as a battleground but its a living community where people lived.
Secondly, it’s closed to Hill 27, a high point where we can stand on and send out our good wishes to our people back in New Zealand in unvailing of the Pacific War Memorial. Ahead of the unveiling, we want to send our blessings across the oceans and down to Aotearoa.”
Mrs. Roberts said Guadalcanal Battle is where all the New Zealand servicemen engaged.
“We acknowledge the role of Solomon Islanders in World War II and the ongoing impacts of that conflict on communities and the environment that continue to be felt. This is where all the New Zealand Services engaged; Army, Navy, and Air Force.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will be unveiling the new monument at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand tomorrow.
The Pacific Islands Memorial is in the form of a large bronze conch shell and was created by artist Michel Tuffery, who is of Cook Islands, Tahitian, and Samoan descent.
The memorial acknowledges the impacts of war on Pacific people, the environment, and the region.
It also pays tribute to the members of the New Zealand Defence Force who are of Pacific Island descent and acknowledges the historic and ongoing connections between peoples as a result of war and conflict.
by Charley Piringi